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Suppressed reports vindicate Palin polar bear policy

'Polar bears are magnificent animals, not cartoon characters'

Early in January, a Sarah Palin op-ed appeared in the NY Times in which she argued against adding the Polar Bear to the list of endangered species because the polar bear populations in the Arctic were healthy:

“…polar bears are more numerous now than they were 40 years ago. The polar bear population in the southern Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s North Slope has been relatively stable for 20 years, according to a federal analysis.”

The governor said that the bears were “magnificent animals, not cartoon characters” that are “worthy of our utmost efforts to protect them and their Arctic habitat,” but added that putting them on the endangered species list was the wrong way to do it.

The Palin op-ed was mostly a response to intense criticism from an emotional Left. They had been hammering her on the issue for months. “Sarah Palin: Tough on polar bears” shouted the Boston Globe’s Green Blog. The American Prospect published a web article headlined “Palin’s Polar Bear Problem.” ABC News’ The Blotter condemned her with “Palin Fought Polar Bear Protections” and included a quote from a University of Alaska professor who called her a liar. At Think Progress, Matthew Yglesias had written of “Palin’s War on Polar Bears” only hours after John McCain had named the governor as his running mate.

Gov. Palin’s NY Times opinion piece did little to convince the liberals that on the issue of the polar bears, their condemnation of the governor was reactionary and alarmist. Friday, it came to light that the EPA had suppressed an internal report which was skeptical of claims made by global warming alarmists:

Less than two weeks before the agency formally submitted its pro-regulation recommendation to the White House, an EPA center director quashed a 98-page report that warned against making hasty “decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data.”

The EPA official, Al McGartland, said in an e-mail message (PDF) to a staff researcher on March 17: “The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward…and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision.”

The e-mail correspondence raises questions about political interference in what was supposed to be an independent review process inside a federal agency–and echoes criticisms of the EPA under the Bush administration, which was accused of suppressing a pro-climate change document.

Alan Carlin, the primary author of the 98-page EPA report, said in a telephone interview on Friday that his boss, McGartland, was being pressured himself. “It was his view that he either lost his job or he got me working on something else,” Carlin said. “That was obviously coming from higher levels.”

NewsBusters.org’s P.J. Gladnik has news of more suppression of inconvenient truths. This time it’s a polar bear expert who has been forbidden from presenting evidence which supports what Gov. Sarah Palin has long been arguing — that the numbers of most polar bear populations have either been increasing for the past few years or remain at optimum levels:

Dr. Mitchell Taylor has been researching the status and management of polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee. More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago. Of the 19 different bear populations, almost all are increasing or at optimum levels, only two have for local reasons modestly declined.

Dr Taylor agrees that the Arctic has been warming over the last 30 years. But he ascribes this not to rising levels of CO2 – as is dictated by the computer models of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and believed by his PBSG colleagues – but to currents bringing warm water into the Arctic from the Pacific and the effect of winds blowing in from the Bering Sea.

He has also observed, however, how the melting of Arctic ice, supposedly threatening the survival of the bears, has rocketed to the top of the warmists’ agenda as their most iconic single cause. The famous photograph of two bears standing forlornly on a melting iceberg was produced thousands of times by Al Gore, the WWF and others as an emblem of how the bears faced extinction – until last year the photographer, Amanda Byrd, revealed that the bears, just off the Alaska coast, were in no danger. Her picture had nothing to do with global warming and was only taken because the wind-sculpted ice they were standing on made such a striking image.

Dr Taylor had obtained funding to attend this week’s meeting of the PBSG, but this was voted down by its members because of his views on global warming.

This is how the left deals with research and researchers that don’t echo their party line. They suppress and then try to ignore. If the researcher makes too much noise over being excluded, then it’s time to invoke Rule 5 and Rule 12 from Alinsky.

This is exactly the formula the left has followed regarding Gov. Palin’s polar bear policy. They bombard the web, crying “Palin hates polar bears.” These people are so divorced from reality that they probably will tell you that “eevill woman” hates unicorns and rainbows also.

- JP

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